The Ugly Numbers Behind The Oilers' Power Play


Photo by Lisa McRitchie, all rights reserved.

There is a stark contrast between a good power play and the Edmonton power play just as there is a stark between the Oilers' penalty kill and a good penalty kill. The easiest way to grasp just how terrible the Oilers' special teams have performed is to look at the scoring chances generated by Edmonton's power play and compare them to the scoring chances allowed by Edmonton's penalty kill.

Scoring Chances For/15 5v4: 7.421
Scoring Chances Against/15 4v5: 12.235


The individual power play chances for come after the jump.

First up the forwards:

Player TSCF CF/15
Andrew Cogliano 21 10.896
Linus Omark 33 9.280
Magnus Paajarvi 38 9.050
Sam Gagner 73 7.653
Fwd Average 431 7.451
Dustin Penner 66 7.165
Jordan Eberle 37 6.617
Shawn Horcoff 32 6.543
Taylor Hall 53 6.388
Ales Hemsky 41 6.200

  • Raise your hand if you saw this coming? No? Didn't think so. It's not just that Ales Hemsky and Taylor Hall are struggling to score on the power play, they're struggling to created anything at all. Think about it this way - Hemsky and Hall, the brightest offensive players on the team are creating half as many power play chances as the Oilers moribund penalty kill gives up.
  • Now look at the rest of the list coming in below the average - Penner, Eberle, Horcoff. This is not a case of Toby Petersen and Cory Cross on the power play - these are extremely talented offensive players. Yet here they sit - at the bottom of the list, dying on the vine.
  • This cannot be a matter of individual performance. Unless four of the five most talented offensive players on the team have decided to go into the tank all at once, this is a systemic problem that must be righted.
  • And if you needed any more evidence that this is a systemic issue, look at Linus Omark - the man who thrives on possession on the boards and behind the net, the man who sneers at the pass to the point is leading the way since his call up. Allow these talented players to do what they do best, rather than constantly forcing pucks to the point and chances happen.

Just for good measure - the recipients of the constant drop passes to the point:

Player TSCF CF/15
Kurtis Foster 95 7.883
Def Average 282 7.376
Ladislav Smid 21 7.292
Tom Gilbert 73 7.255
Ryan Whitney 67 7.192
Jeff Petry 19 6.574

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